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Labour: We will replace Police Commisioners

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has said.A Labour government would abolish Police and Crime Commissioners and give local communities a "policing contract" to enforce priorities like keeping police on the beat.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The model is just fundamentally flawed. It's costing too much. They spent £80 million on the original elections. It will cost £50 million to hold the next elections. It cost £3.7 million to hold the by-election in the West Midlands.

There should be a policing contract with the local community, involving councillors but also giving the public direct access in public meetings

The council and the chief constable should be jointly appointing the local police commander.

– Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper

Speaking at the start of Labour's annual conference in Manchester, Ms Cooper said that the coalition Government's introduction of directly-elected PCCs in 2012 "hasn't worked" and that scrapping the next round of PCC elections in 2016 would save £50 million which could be ploughed back into frontline policing. .

Senior Tories in Westminster reform talks at Chequers

Senior Conservative MPs will gather at the Prime Minister's country retreat tomorrow to discuss plans to reform Westminster voting.

The party leadership wants to accompany enhanced devolution for Scotland with a new rule that Scottish MPs cannot vote on matters that only affect people in England.

David Cameron is aiming to secure backbench support for further Scottish devolution. Credit: PA

Mr Cameron has faced criticism from within his own ranks over the plans.

Former leadership contender David Davis branded it "disgraceful" to hand Scotland more powers without consulting the other nations of the UK.

Among those at the Chequers summit will be key backbenchers such as Graham Brady, the chair of the influential 1922 committee of MPs and the former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.


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Up to 25 dogs perish in fire

An investigation is underway into a blaze which completely gutted a dog breeder's home in Hornsea, killing up to 25 dogs inside.

The owner and his family were out of the house, in Grainger Road, when the fire broke out just before 7pm last night.

Neighbours called the Humberside fire service but station manager Paul Clucas said the blaze was so intense, there was nothing they could do to save the Staffordshire bull terrier dogs when crews arrived.

"When the owner arrived back, he was obviously distraught and tried to get into the property to save the dogs. I had to physically restrain him for his own safety. There was no chance, flames were coming out of the hall and the roof," said Mr Clucas.

He added that the dogs, all in cages, would have been killed by toxic fumes.

The single-storey timber-framed house was completely gutted. Fire investigation officers are still at the scene and whilst the cause of the blaze is not yet known, it is not believed to be suspicious.

Tory chairman: 'It can't be right for Scottish MPs to vote on English matters'

The Tory Party Chairman has said it "can't be right' for Scottish MPs to vote on English matters if powers are devolved across the border.

Grant Shapps told the Sky News Murnaghan programme: "It can't be right, if there are further powers going to Scotland, it's just common sense that you can't have Scottish MPs to vote on these matters that only affect England."

Desmond Tutu: 'We've a duty to fight climate change'

On the UN Climate Summit, Desmond Tutu has said that we all have a "duty to persuade our leaders to lead us in a new direction"

Desmond Tutu. Credit: Zak Hussein/PA Wire/Press Association Images

As responsible citizens of the world – sisters and brothers of one family, the human family, God's family – we have a duty to persuade our leaders to lead us in a new direction: to help us abandon our collective addiction to fossil fuels, starting this week in New York at the United Nations Climate Summit.

The most devastating effects of climate change – deadly storms, heat waves, droughts, rising food prices and the advent of climate refugees – are being visited on the world's poor.

Those who have no involvement in creating the problem are the most affected, while those with the capacity to arrest the slide dither. Africans, who emit far less carbon than the people of any other continent, will pay the steepest price. It is a deep injustice.

– Desmond Tutu

The Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel peace laureate was writing in the Observer.


Cabinet minister: English votes for England

The Justice Secretary has said that Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English laws.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Archive/Press Association Images

That would be a travesty of democracy, and would be regarded with fury by the English. But the renewed focus on England brings with it a further great risk. Today marks the start of the Labour conference.

The future of our constitution is bound to be a subject of major debate there. But it is likely to be a very different one to that at the Conservative conference in a week’s time.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Writing in the Telegraph, Chris Grayling said that there cannot be a situation where Scottish MPs "come to Westminster and vote on English-only issues", influencing the destiny of health, education, justice, environment and probably taxation in England, "potentially against the wishes of most English representatives".

Labour pledge to give votes to 16 and 17-year-olds

Labour plan to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in future general elections. Credit: PA

A pledge to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote in general elections will be in the next Labour manifesto, Ed Miliband has promised.

The opposition leader said politicians had to address a 'crisis in our democracy' and involving young people more was a 'really important part of that'.

He said seeing young people's engagement in the Scottish independence referendum had convinced him it was "the right thing to do" to extend the voting franchise.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We're going to have it at general elections, it's the right thing to do, alongside proper education about our democracy."

Labour to 'write next chapter' in battle against low pay

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has said a Labour government would "write the next chapter" in the battle against low pay.

Ed Miliband speaking on the Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

This country is hurting. This country isn't working for so many people. One in five of the men and women who go out to work in this country - they do some of the most important jobs - they clean buildings, they act as security guards.

They do incredibly important jobs, and they are some of the lowest paid people in this country, and we are determined to change it.

This is why we say the establishment has got to understand the lessons of this referendum, of what people are saying in England and Wales and throughout the United Kingdom. People aren't willing to have business as usual.

– Labour Leader Ed Miliband

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband added that the Low Pay Commission has an important role in "working out a path to a higher minimum wage of over £8 an hour before the next Parliament".

Salmond: 'Writing is on the wall' over independence

It is only a matter of time before Scotland becomes an independent nation, Alex Salmond has suggested.

The First Minister, who this week announced his intention to resign from his post, said the majority of younger Scots supported independence.

He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "When you have a situation where the majority of a country up to the age of 55 is already voting for independence, I think the writing's on the wall for Westminster."

"I think the destination is pretty certain, we're only now debating the timescale and the method," the SNP leader added.

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